I often go to Miami for work and usually end up eating at a hotel restaurant or end up in Brickell Village. Luckily, one of my local colleagues convinced me to hop in a car and head to Happy Wine. One of their two locations, the Coconut Grove locale is a cozy wine store stacked floor to ceiling with bottles with small tables tucked all around the stacks. The night we were there, they had live music playing in the back, and the whole place had a festive happy vibe.
Ask for table by the select wine room if you want to be away from the noise – it was a great spot for us. We picked a nice bottle of Barolo off the shelf for $40 (which would have run well north of $100 with a traditional restaurant markup), had it opened at the table and ordered from the excellent tapas menu – plates of manchego and chorizo, spanish omelettes, olives… everything was great. I felt like I was let into a local secret and will definitely be back!